The U.S. must allow skilled-immigrants a path to “drain their brains i” in our economy for the sake of innovation. Immigrant innovation is vital to the U.S. economy and the tech sector, but foreigners are now developing their skills here and then taking their talent back home to benefit their home countries. ii
Studies show that immigrants are three times more likely to file patents than U.S. born citizens, especially in the tech industry. iii The H1B visa program must be expanded to prevent these bright and talented entrepreneurs from giving up on a life in our country.
The debate on H1B program expansion is cluttered with misguided assumptions and invalid claims.
Contrary to belief, skilled-immigrants actually create jobs rather than take jobs. For each job created by an immigrant entrepreneur, about 4.3 jobs are created in other sectors. iv Further, these skilledimmigrant founders contribute trillions in revenue to the U.S. economy. v
Many opponents of H1B visa expansion assume employers use visas for cheap labor, thus driving down wages for Americans. However, several studies show that wages are actually increasing for native-born workers in occupations with the most H1B requests. In fact, H1B dominated occupations have seen wage growth much higher than the national average recently. vi
The H1B visa program is broken, but we can fix it. The competitive future of America will dominate if we remain a magnet for intelligent and enthusiastic innovators from all over the world. H1B visa reform will attract the bright minds of entrepreneurs, engineers, teachers and doctors, and allow permanent prosperity for these immigrants and our nation. As Richard Florida put it, “…the biggest danger we face from immigrants is having too few of them.” vii
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I’m aware that “brain drain” means that highly trained or intelligent people are leaving a country,…